KOCHI l MONDAY l JUNE 15, 2020 l `7.00 l PAGES 28 l LATE CITY EDITION PETROL PRICES UP BY `4.52, DIESEL BY `4.64 IN 8 DAYS FUEL DEMAND PICKS UP AS INDIA UNLOCKS Price of petrol went up by `0.62 and that of diesel by `0.64 as fuel prices were hiked for the eight day in a row on Sunday HIT BY INCREASES IN EXCISE DUTY On March 16, facing a dip in domestic demand for oil and a slump in international benchmark prices, the oil companies had stopped daily fuel price revision, despite a hike in excise duty by the government two days earlier. But the daily price revision resumed 82 days later on June 7 as the coronavirus lockdown started easing and the demand for fuel picked up ■ ■ The hike in prices has added to the burden on consumers, who are already reeling under extensive layoffs and wage cuts Analysts say the two hikes in excise duties—which added D13 to the cost of petrol and D16 to that of diesel—sat heavily on oil companies, which avoided raising prices so far due to low demand A75.16 THE RETAIL PRICE OF ONE LITRE OF DIESEL IN DELHI ON SUNDAY CHENNAI ■ MADURAI ■ VIJAYAWADA ■ BENGALURU ■ KOCHI ■ HYDERABAD ■ VISAKHAPATNAM ■ COIMBATORE ■ KOZHIKODE ■ THIRUVANANTHAPURAM ■ BELAGAVI ■ BHUBANESWAR ■ SHIVAMOGGA ■ MANGALURU ■ TIRUPATI ■ TIRUCHY ■ TIRUNELVELI ■ SAMBALPUR ■ HUBBALLI ■ DHARMAPURI ■ KOTTAYAM ■ KANNUR ■ VILLUPURAM ■ KOLLAM ■ WARANGAL ■ TADEPALLIGUDEM ■ NAGAPATTINAM ■ THRISSUR ■ KALABURAGI State seeks spl Shah steps in to ramp up Delhi’s Covid defences flights to bring Covid +ve expats S A N A S H A K I L & S I D D H A N TA M I S H R A @ New Delhi UNION Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday stepped in to ramp up the fight against the coronavirus in the national Capital, where it is growing at an exponential pace, announcing a slew of measures, including more testing and boosting hospitalisation capacity . Doubling Covid-19 testing, converting 500 railway coaches into well-equipped Covid-19 care centres to enhance Delhi’s bed capacity by 8,000, directing private hospitals to offer 60% of beds dedicated for Pinarayi urges PM Modi to ensure test kits in foreign countries with large Indian diaspora er said than done, said experts. “Since enclosed spaces are to IN a first by a state, Kerala has be considered as a hotbed for urged the Centre to consider transmission of virus, the state arranging flights exclusively should think twice if it plans to for bringing Covid positive bring Covid-positive people. Keralites from abroad. Chief Bringing Covid patients togethMinister Pinarayi Vijayan, in a er involves risk as it could inletter to Prime Minister crease the viral load of each Narendra Modi, also patient, even if they sought to arrange fawear PPE kits,” Dr P cilities to hold Covid Gopikumar, state sectests for expatriates retary, IMA -Kerala. who want to return Further, this would with the assistance of also put the flight crew Indian embassies in at risk, he said. Meanwhile, Health those countries. Minister K K Shailaja The move comes Change in said a final decision amid the controversy strategy on making Covid negover the state government’s decision to T’Puram: The state ative cer tificates make Covid negative has now decided to mandatory for expats admit will be taken only afcertificate mandatoasymptomatic ter the meeting of the ry for all expatriates coming from the Gulf patients and those PM with chief miniswith mild ters on Tuesday “The . countries on charsymptoms to Covid state has only put tered flights. First-Line forth a suggestion I n t h e l e t t e r, Pinarayi said Centre Treatment Centres and has not taken any and not to decision. The suggescould ensure the dedicated Covid tion was mooted conavailability of test Hospitals. P4 sidering safety of kits in countries havpeople coming to the ing large Indian diaspora. The embassies should be state,” she said. Earlier, the state had made it entrusted with the responsibility of holding tests for those clear that from June 20, all priunable to undergo tests at their vate chartered flights departown expense, he said. “If there ing to Kerala from West Asian is any difficulty in holding PCR countries should carry only tests, facilities for conducting passengers who have been testrapid tests should be arranged. ed negative for Covid. A test certificate to that effect should This is to avoid a situation of Covid-positive people mingling be carried by the passenger. with those without infection,” Former chief minister Oommen Chandy, in a letter to the letter said. However, bringing Covid pa- Pinarayi, had demanded that tients on special flights is easi- this clause be withdrawn. E X P R E S S N E W S S E R V I C E @ T’Puram POWER POINT Sulking Congress unit puts Uddhav govt on notice S U D H I R S U R YA W A N S H I @ Mumbai A sulking Maharashtra Congress has put the three-party coalition government led by Uddhav Thackeray on notice, saying it would no longer accept playing a junior role in power sharing and decision making. Sources said Congress chief Sonia Gandhi went to the extent of advising the state unit to take the call on walking out of the alliance if it continues to be loaded against it. Party leader Ashok Chavan said keeping the BJP out of power should not read as weakness, adding the voices of Congress ministers are not heard in the Thackeray government. “I am confident the chief minister will address all these issues and fair and equitable distribution of power will happen in the coalition,” he claimed. Sources in Congress griped about ally NCP fielding its second candidate, Fauzia Khan, for the RS polls without consulting it. “Also, when elections to the nine vacant seats in the state legislative council was held, all three parties in the coalition could have fielded two candidates each. But the Congress was forced to give the ticket to only one because Thackeray insisted on a unopposed election. We were forced to withdraw the second candidate’s name. We went along because CM promised an equal share of power,” said Congress leader. KERALA CASE DIARY 54 2,461 1,340 1,101 cases reported on Sunday cases have been confirmed so far people under treatment Of the total confirmed cases on Sunday, 48 were returnees — 23 from abroad and 25 from other states coronavirus patients at a cheaper rate were the key decisions taken at a high-level meeting chaired by Shah. After doubling Delhi’s testing capabilities within the next couple of days, it will be tripled after six days. According to the Delhi government’s recent submission in the Delhi High Court, the combined daily testing capacity of 40 labs — 17 public and 23 private — is 8,600 per day . Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, Lieutenant Governor Anil Baijal and Chief Min- recovered WITH THIS ISSUE 19 DEATHS YOUR LIFE COACH THE ESSENTIAL CAMPUS DIGEST 28 PAGES, INCLUDING 16 OF edex (TABLOID) GONE TOO SOON He was a talented actor of science & faith, and a searching human SHILAJIT MITRA M y first assignment as an entertainment journalist in Mumbai was an interview of Sushant Singh Rajput. It was June 2017, a few days before the release of Raabta. Too young to be made an anchor, I was relegated to the task of assistant cameraman. The setup I was handed (and barely knew how to operate) was a small, rigged iPhone — not a bulky TV camera typically used on such shoots. As Sushant settled down with his co-star Kriti Sanon, he cast a curious look in my direction. “iPhone shoot?” he wondered aloud. I might have thought he may look down on it, but then, he added, “How cool.” Sushant was ever a man of the future. The actor was always seeking out new paths, new innovations. He shared a deep love for science and cosmology, and his film choices were marked by this need to experiment. He started out on television, debuting in the romantic show Kis Desh Mein SUS H A N T S I N G H RA J PUT 21-01-1986 14-06-2020 Hai Meraa Dil and later breaking out with the household hit Pavitra Rishta. His knack for restraint was evident in his big screen debut, Kai Po Che!, where he played the inflammable excricketer Ishaan, announcing himself as the next big thing in Bollywood. Two big-bannered vehicles followed — Shuddh Desi Romance, PK — and for a while, his journey seemed resigned to the beats of mainstream stardom. Sushant, though, responded with an astonishing choice, appearing as the newest itera- tion of the 20th century Beng ali sleuth in Dibakar’s Detective Byomkesh Bakshi! He followed it up with the celebrated M S Dhoni biopic. Directed by Neeraj Pandey, this was perhaps his most definitive performance, a box-office winner that brought out the lesser-known indecisions of an ace cricketer. Sushant could hold his own in most films. Twee and old world, the disaster epic Kedarnath was bogged down by convention; still, the actor took great and obvious pains lugging Sara Ali Khan up and down a mountain. He was efficient in Chhichhore too, running through as many tics and jitters as an old man as he did as a college fresher. At the trailer launch of Kedarnath in 2018, Sushant was asked about faith. “There are different ways to investigate the truth,” said the actor known for both quoting Shiv mantras and Carl Sagan.“One is science…. the other is faith.” To whichever world we have lost him to now, our love shall no doubt reach unbound. No suicide note found, say police Sushant Singh Rajput found hanging in his Bandra apartment on Sunday morning. An accidental death report will be registered on the basis of preliminary information. No suicide note found Police claim they did not find any foul play in their initial investigation He died days after his former manager, Disha Salian (28), ended her life by jumping from a high-rise on June 9 ister Arvind Kejriwal parricipated in the meeting with Shah. For effective contact tracing in containment zones, a comprehensive house-to-house health survey of every person will be done and its report submitted within a week, the home minister later tweeted. The number of containment zones in the Capital has increased from 122 on June 1 to 242. For proper monitoring, Shah said, the Aarogya Setu app will be downloaded in every person’s mobile phone. More testing, more beds... Delhi’s testing capacity to be doubled over the next two days 500 railway coaches to be converted into Covid care facilities 60% of the beds earmarked for Covid patients in private hospitals to be available at cheaper cost “In view of shortage of beds in Delhi, the Modi government has decided to immediately provide 500 railway coaches which will be equipped with all facilities,” he added. Shah said the government will issue new guidelines for conducting the last rites of those who succumb to the virus so as to help reduce the waiting period for the funeral. Shah also announced that a joint team of doctors from the Union health ministry, Delhi government’s health department, AIIMS and the three Municipal Corporation of Delhi will visit all Covid-designated hospitals in Delhi to evaluate the situation. Soon after the meeting, the Delhi government directed all district magistrates and other officials to set up nearly 20,000 more beds within a week. With coffers empty, Padmanabhaswamy temple to seek help from royal family M S V I D YA N A N D A N @ T’Puram IN the wake of depleting revenue amid lockdown restrictions, the Sree Padmanabhaswamy temple — which sits on `1,00,000 crore wealth — has slipped into a deep financial crisis, prompting the management to take some extraordinary steps. It plans to approach the trust controlled by the Travancore royal family for aid to tide over the crisis. The famous shrine’s revenue from day-to-day activities has plummeted to near zero since the lockdown began on March 25. Even after the gover nment brought in relaxations, the temple committee had decided to not allow entry of devotees till June 30. “The monthly expense of the temple comes to around `1.5 crore — `1 crore for salary payment and the rest for purchases and office expenses. Previous savings from revenue earnings had helped the management run the show so far,” said V Ratheesan, temple’s executive officer. The temple administration committee, which will meet in Juneend, will discuss two proposals to tide over the crisis. First one is to ask a substantial amount from the Sree Padmanabhaswamy Temple Trust which administered the temple until the Supreme Court entrusted it with a committee headed by the district ● More on P4 judge.
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